Central College students took part in the seeding of a new prairie around Lake Red Rock Dam in Iowa.
Keaton Rodgers, of Peoria, particiapted in the seeding. Rodgers is a conservation biology and ecology student in the class of 2023.
Russell Benedict, professor of biology and the director of Prairies for Agriculture Project, orchestrated students from his class as they developed a seed mixture and gathered seeds from various sources.
They planted the prairie in early December.
"We collected seeds from local, never-plowed prairies - which is a rare thing in Iowa - and from Central's planted prairies, and bought seed from a local seed dealer," Benedict said. "I worked with Missouri River Energy Services, the company that built the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project, to arrange a small prairie planting near the project below the Red Rock Dam."
He added that the location of the prairie will make it a valuable educational resource for people who are visiting Lake Red Rock.
Students in future courses will help develop signs to improve the public's knowledge of tallgrass prairie, one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth.
The prairie, which will take several years to become established, potentially can grow at the site for centuries, with proper care.
Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor and leadership formation and for cultivating diversity of thought and culture through the arts and sciences, professional fields of study and experiential learning.